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Imaging of Pediatric MSK Diseases
It is now generally understood and accepted that children are not merely small adults, which is also apparent from the perspective of bones, joints, and muscles. Children, from birth (or even prenatally) to adolescence, respond in various ways to trauma, with different mechanisms of injury and patterns of injured musculoskeletal (MSK) structures than adults. We must keep in mind not only the radiologic signs but the whole set of semiotics including associations and clinical background.
Particular tumors and rheumatologic conditions, or specific incidence rates, occur in the pediatric age range, and this information as a first step helps drive clinical and radiologic suspicions. The same is true with metabolic bone diseases. Advances in imaging techniques offer benefits to both pediatric and adult populations, with a few specific highlights for the former.
Pediatric MSK radiology is also a great source of pitfalls. The growing skeleton is a rapidly changing organ that sometimes challenges the interpretation of findings.
Congenital disorders may be discovered in utero; however, it is also important to recognize and assess congenital abnormalities after birth, to detect when something looks wrong and may eventually be associated with functional impairments or substantial morbidity and other organ-related diseases.
The assessment of the pediatric spine is a common challenge for radiologists because many conditions may affect the spine, and involvement is different from adults. Similarly, orthopaedic surgery in pediatrics, with specific surgical procedures, relies very much on imaging for planning and post-treatment evaluation.
Interventional radiology also applies to pediatrics. When treatment or diagnostic interventional procedures are needed, clinicians can take advantage of minimally invasive procedures.
This issue of Seminars in Musculoskeletal Radiology addresses critical topics in the different areas of pediatric MSK diseases. We are grateful to the authoritative authors who participated and have made this issue informative and useful for clinical practice.
21 May 2021 (online)
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